Finally! We had a great official training day.

I'm just waiting for the fun to begin

Not since before the great snowpacolypse, has our team met for an official training day.  The snow has finally melted and our dog finally had a good day at training.  Not just good, but a great one!  We had a wonderful play session for the first time at an official training day.  Our puppy did not care about the forest caviar (deer poop) today.  It was all about the toy, toy, toy!  There was tugging and even barking.  Then he went back into the crate for a good rest.

We take our dogs out one at a time for training.  Check out how quickly Daisy improves on her indication.  (Dog finds the lost person, jumps on handler, then leads handler back to the lost person for play.)  Watch the first video.  Notice the dog circles before coming back to the handler to indicate.

This second video shows how fast a dog can correct a mistake the second time around.  This one is perfect!

The puppies played quite well today.  Leave it to a human to make a mistake.  (Isn’t this always true? The dogs must think we are idiots.)  I completely goofed something up by calling out too long while hiding for a dog.  I was supposed to shout only once!  Oops!  Wont do that again:)  The dog was happy the problem was so easy.  I was relieved to find out it was not a mistake that would ruin a dog.  (Believe me, there are things you can do to mess up a dog’s training for months.)

Grom’s second time out, David decided to try a short run away and hiding in sight.  Exactly what you saw in the videos about without the indication jump.  I was certain my dog was going to just trot ahead a few dozen feet and start sniffing the ground.  He wasn’t losing his mind when David ran away with his toys, just a steady pull on his collar.  When David layed down and I released the dog, he was nothing but a blur.  It was the fastest I have seen the little guy run.  Go Grom!  We did this twice, both times a huge success!

The final play time with our dog was to be agitation. (Teasing the dog so that he really wants his toy before you let him win it.)  We borrowed a lovely pink harness and a blue bungee leash from other members of the team.  I am hoping I am able to get the video of this one because I was laughing the entire time.  Grom just would not let his toy go.  I think David tried nearly every trick in the book to get it away from him.  His original plan to steal the toy while I take the dog back to the car wasn’t going to happen.  Grom simply won and we ran back to the car.

We did a small amount of obedience with a ton of other excited dogs in a field.  He did ok for how distracted he was.  I decided to take him back to the car after about 10 minutes.  I just knew the little guy wasn’t going to be able to keep his focus.  I had him do a couple of easy commands and trotted back to the car.

Learn to read your dog and set him up for success.  If you know your dog cannot concentrate in a situation for more than 15 minutes, take him out of the situation at the 10 minute mark.  Do this while he is being good.  Practice in these situations often and slowly raise the time limit.  Don’t forget to keep your time random so your dog doesn’t get bored, sometimes keeping him out for shorter times too.

search and rescue dogs virginia

The team

The day was not over yet.  We were being interviewed for TV.  All of us lined up for a group picture. I am so proud of everyone and the dogs.  Everyone did a great job behaving!


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